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Scottish Art (World of Art)

Professor Murdo Macdonald


The most thorough and accessible short introduction to Scottish art available

Also available as an eBook from Online store, Online store


What makes Scottish art Scottish? In this now classic book, Murdo Macdonald explores the distinctive characteristics of Scottish art over the centuries – such as the heritage of Celtic design with its emphasis on intricate pattern; the importance of the landscape, particularly the Highlands and the sea; and a close connection with France. He ranges from the earliest surviving art – Neolithic standing stones – through the art of the Picts and Gaels, and the tumultuous centuries of the Reformation, to the great flowering of Scottish art in the Enlightenment. The final chapters focus closely on art produced since 1900, with succinct and revealing analyses of the Scottish Colourists and the major figures of contemporary art in all media.

Masterpieces from the Book of Kells to paintings by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Joan Eardley are illustrated in full colour, and such key works are set in a clearly explained historical context throughout. Macdonald’s lucid and deeply researched book makes a significant contribution to the understanding of Scotland’s artistic past and present.

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'An affordable first cut into Scotland’s rich and varied art history … cannot be beaten for its authority, its contextual reach, and its elegantly thought-through juxtapositions'
Art North

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Edition Type: New Edition

Size: 21.0 x 15.0 cm

Extent: 264 pp

Illustrations: 208

Publication date: 18 March 2021

ISBN: 9780500204528

Contents List

Preface • 1. Prehistory and Early History • 2. The Development of Christian Art • 3. Loss and Reconstruction • 4. Classicism and Celticism • 5. Art and Philosophy • 6. Nineteenth-Century Narratives • 7. Modernity and Revivals • 8. Twentieth-Century Pluralism • 9. Deconstructing Stereotypes and Reappropriating Symbols

About the Author

Murdo Macdonald is emeritus professor of the history of Scottish art at the University of Dundee. He was appointed an honorary member of the Royal Scottish Academy of Art and Architecture in 2009, and an honorary fellow of the Association for Scottish Literary Studies in 2016.